What software do you use to track time spent on a project?
I use this all the time and I like it.
- web based so it will stay synced between multiple computers
- decent interface
- nice api
- integrates with GMail, iGoogle or anything you can put an iframe into.
- integrates into Basecamp and FreshBooks
I use JIRA and its associated Agile Greenhopper tool
I find it's brilliant as an electronic Kanban task/planning board and it's various burn down charts etc seem more than adequate for time keeping/reporting.
From the Redmine website:
Some of the main features of Redmine are:
- Multiple projects support
- Flexible role based access control
- Flexible issue tracking system
- Gantt chart and calendar
- News, documents & files management
- Feeds & email notifications
- Per project wiki
- Per project forums
- Time tracking
- Custom fields for issues, time-entries, projects and users
- SCM integration (SVN, CVS, Git, Mercurial, Bazaar and Darcs)
- Issue creation via email
- Multiple LDAP authentication support
- User self-registration support
- Multilanguage support
- Multiple databases support
When I was freelancing, I used Freshbooks, an accounting web app that has a handy pop out timer.
The trick is, remembering to start and stop the timer appropriately. I was longing for something that integrated directly with KDE/Multiple desktop (think one project open per desktop, automatically tracking time spent on each one), but never found anything that managed it.
Fortunately, Excel or OpenOffice Calc is all I need. That's because I'm not working on many projects in parallel.
In my previous job, we were using a in-house developed tool, sort of like Jira, to keep track of every single minute spent on one of several projects I had to work on concurrently. It's hard to say what was more annoying, the micromanagement that came with the tool (5 minutes spent on stackexchange?!?) or the fact that I couldn't focus on one project for at least a few days without getting interrupted by urgent tasks for other projects.
Cheap (free for up to 10 users, then increments up to $200 for unlimited users - prices to buy it and host it yourself), clear and powerful.
There are some management and accounting modules too (a few hundred dollars each) but I've not tried them.
I check the build log from our Build System and the commit log from version control and compare that to the project plans our PHBs send out. For my team, we use Excel to augment the build and commit logs. For everything on the Excel list, I expect to see at least one commit mentioning it and one successful build after that commit. This only works is you really need to track tasks that are very course grained. Daily or weekly and not hour-by-hour.